Monday, October 27, 2014

Testing A11y in Plasma 5

I made the jump on all available computers, and am now running Plasma5 on the foundation of Kubuntu 14.10 everywhere. Once the upgrade work was done, I filed a few bugs, and then wanted to test accessibility (often abbreviated a11y), since Qt5 has a11y built-in.

Jpwhiting in #kde-accessibility found Frederik's blog:, where I found that the key was setting up the environment to expose KDE software to the mostly-GNOME a11y applications. For now this must be done via the commandline:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.a11y.applications screen-reader-enabled true

It is a work-around, but it works!

Once orca is installed, and the environment is set up, you will hear each letter as you type, and when you open menus, they are read aloud. I understand it will read IRC channels aloud, but I don't want this! Some people use this method to study while they do something else, which sounds cool.

KDE developers, please test your ported code for accessibility. If you don't have time, please ask for testers to file bugs.

Distro testers, please test your install screens and upgrade paths for, at the very least, successful screen reading. There is really is now no excuse to keep blind users from using our wonderful software.

Qt 5 is accessible! Are we using it to serve our blind users?